His family removed to New Lebanon, New York when John was still a child. In 1804, Jones built the first house in what later became the Village of Monticello. He was Postmaster of Monticello for nearly 40 years.
He was County Clerk of Sullivan County from 1809 to 1810, 1811 to 1813 and from 1815 to 1825.
He was a presidential elector in 1856, voting for John C. Frémont and William L. Dayton. He was buried at the Saint John Street Cemetery in Monticello.